In response to reader commentary on the Health IT Strategist reader poll: "Should the secretary of HHS use the authority granted to her/him under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to use public funds to develop an electronic health-record system appropriate for public health clinic providers?":
Rebecca Kush is absolutely correctpublic health clinics should be federally funded, as should county jail electronic health records. Jails provide healthcare services, at public expense, to a constituency whose health needs, if met at all, are met by public health clinics. EHRs have the potential to save jails and prisons enormous sums of money by reducing waste and errors. While prisons have the funding and scale to implement EHRs, jails do not. To achieve safe and successful re-entry objectives of the Second Chance Act, jails need EHRs that are interoperable with public health clinic EHRs, and the ability to successfully hand off released inmates to clinics. Federal funding to clinics and jails, as public health partners, is essential to EHR efforts.